Marsh Gooding made up for lost time in one weekend, winning the slalom on the final day of the Rocky Central Championships in Aspen.
Gooding also picked up a third and fourth in the super G on March 12 and 13. Gooding didn't start the season until mid-December because he was enrolled at the University of Vermont.
"His season was quite abbreviated," said head post graduate and J1 coach Andy Leroy. "Most kids were going hard since the summer. It wasn't surprising to see it take this long for his skiing to come around."
Gooding was leading the super G on March 12 but opted to take a re-run after a gate fell on the course during his run. Despite hopping the gate and bobbling on the lower part of the course, Gooding posted the fastest time. He didn't think it would hold up, however, and returned to the gate for another run. He had the fourth fastest time.
Teammate Josh Bryan finished second in the March 12 super G. He also was ninth in the March 13 super G and runner-up in the giant slalom March 14 and the slalom race, which Gooding won, March 15.
The Rocky Central Champ--ionships was made up of skiers ages 15 and older for the ability class. It's difficult for a 15-year-old to defeat skiers who are 18 or 19, but Leroy said many of Steamboat's youngest ability class racers held their own on Buttermilk Mountain.
The coaches help the skiers focus more on improvements in their skiing than individual results, but standing on the podium is still important to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's competitors.
"I don't think any of them were really satisfied," Leroy said. "Even the ones who win the race think of things they could have done better. We have set such a high standard. One thing we definitely try to do is help them enjoy and celebrate how good they have become in the sport."
Steamboat's girls let every other club know how far they have come as a group. In both super G races, five or six Winter Sports Club racers finished in the top 15.
On March 12, Tina Roberts (second), Heidi Hillenbrand (sixth), Kathleen Lyon (eighth), Maddie McLean (11th) and Annie McLean (15th) were in the top 15. On March 13, Roberts (fourth), Hillenbrand (fifth), Lyon (eighth), Brittany Bahle (ninth), Annie McLean (10th) and Lauren Letson (12th) were in the top 12.
Hillenbrand, Bahle and Maddie McLean finished second, 10th and 13th, respectively, in the giant slalom March 14.
Thomas Allen was eighth, and Hanzi Deschermeier was 31st in the super G for the boys. T.J. Cannon was ninth, Derek Nickum was 27th and Dylan Roberts, one of the youngest age ability racers, was 33rd in the giant slalom.
Ramsey Bernard was 32nd in the slalom.
There are still some ski races left in the season, including a spring series that helps the racers get a start on next season.
--To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208
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